Red Book Ruminations
It is no small matter to acknowledge one’s yearning. For this many need to make a particular effort at honesty. All too many do not want to know where their yearning is, because it would seem to them impossible or too distressing. And yet yearning is the way of life. If you do not acknowledge your yearning, then you do not follow yourself but go on foreign ways that others have indicated to you. So you do not live your life but an alien one. But who should live your life if you do not live it? It is not only stupid to exchange your own life for an alien one, but also a hypocritical game, because you can never really live the life of others, you can only pretend to do it, deceiving the other and yourself since you can only live your own life.
If you give up your self you live it in others; thereby you become selfish to others, and thus you deceive others. Everyone thus believes that such a life is possible. It is, however, only apish imitation. Through giving in to your apish appetite, you infect others, because the ape stimulates the apish. So you turn yourself and others into apes. Through reciprocal imitation you live according to the average expectation.
— The Red Book, p. 288, para. 68.
Copyright © 2009 by The Foundation of the Works of C. G. Jung
Translation Copyright © 2009 by Mark Kyburz, John Peck, and Sonu Shamdasani
Text and image courtesy of W.W. Norton & Company and The Philemon Foundation.